Windsor Village is one of the African American churches in Houston under the umbrella of the UMC or United Methodist Church, but it is not one of the congregations in trouble.
“We need to move forward with a task force,” says Dr. Donald Waddleton with the United Methodist Church in Houston.
He says, That’s exactly what has been formed to deal with the problems facing the smaller Black churches in the United Methodist family in our region.
Church facilities like Clinton Park and Sloan UMC have both been condemned because their buildings were in poor condition… Sloan – 136 years old – has been totally demolished. Members like Alvin Colquitt are confident it will return to this now empty lot.
Colquitt says, “we have to change with the community to make sure that we are a viable part of the community and that is what we’re doing.”
Colquitt has four different generations from his family attending Sloan UMC…of course, that’s when the building was there. Now attending another UMC church – Colquitt says there are definite plans to keep up the 100+ year tradition going.
“Hopefully, in the next few weeks we will be meeting with the architects to start the design of the new building,” says Colquitt.
That’s easier said than done…UMC officials say from 2008 to 2011 – 9 African American churches in our area have shutdown either because their membership was simply too small or they couldn’t rebuild like Sloan is expected to do. If a congregation finds itself in one of those aging buildings it’s up to the membership to turn it around.
Waddleton says, “that is something they have to do for themselves. We don’t have funding for existing congregations to build structures.”
Now back to that task force formed to deal with the declining membership and aging buildings at UMC churches – Dr. Waddleton says the answer to the problem – growth…While nationwide there has been a decline in UMC membership there has been an increase in our region…But that increase includes aging members of the church who are not able to give like the younger congregation over at Windsor Village.
Waddleton says, “many of our African American churches are small family size churches so with that alone presents a problem as far as finances are concerned. We realize that and we’re in a program right now to help these churches grow to a larger and viable sustainable state.”
Read more: http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/21675091/2013/03/18/task-force-formed-for-houston-area-united-methodist-churches#ixzz2O8Rnr600